LucasArts is gone. They were closed yesterday by Disney and all 150 employees were laid off. My heart goes out to them of course. Nothing sucks worse than losing your job, I hope they all land at other studios as fast as possible.
That said, this was a long time coming. Everyone loves to look back at LucasArts as this amazing company who gave us fantastic adventure games and some awesome Star Wars games. The problem is that part of LucasArts faded away years ago. The LucasArts we’ve had for the past ten years or so resembles nothing of what it was in its heyday. In the past several years, the best Star Wars games games were all developed by other companies. KOTOR was developed by BioWare, Jedi Knight 2 was made by Raven Software, Battlefront by Pandemic, and Rogue Squadron 3 by Factor 5.
There are a few exceptions though. Games like Republic Commando were fantastic and very well received. Alas, they never capitalized on what the people wanted, electing to develop games like The Force Unleashed (1 & 2).
With the closure of LucasArts, Disney has said it’s going to move into more licensing for Star Wars games. This excites me because it opens the door for other developers to take a crack at Star Wars. If people like BioWare could make an amazing Star Wars RPG, what could we get from a company like Eidos or another great developer. Sure, it go the other way and we could wind up with something like Yoda Stories. But as of late all the great Star Wars games (such as the LEGO titles) have all come from other companies.
What about you guys? Who would you love to see make a Star Wars game? How do you feel about the closure of LucasArts?